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Saint Lucian Theologian/Cultural Activist, Monsignor Hon. Dr Patrick ‘Paba’ Anthony, SLC, and Bahamian Lawyer/Politician, the Right Honourable Dame Janet Gwennett Bostwick, CB, DBE, to Receive Honorary Degrees at The UWI Global Campus Virtual Graduation Ceremony

Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Friday, October 27, 2023 —The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Global Campus (formerly Open Campus) at its upcoming Graduation Ceremony, will confer Honorary Degrees on two outstanding Caribbean citizens. Monsignor Hon. Dr Patrick ‘Paba’ Anthony, SLC, from Saint Lucia, will be awarded the Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for his work as a Cultural Icon/Activist and the Right Honourable Dame Janet Gwennett Bostwick, CB, DBE, from The Bahamas, will be awarded the Doctor of Laws (LLD) for her work in Law and Politics. 

The Virtual Graduation Ceremony, which is scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 6:00 pm EC will be broadcast live via UWItv at, UWItv’s channels on Flow EVO and Facebook live.  

Monsignor Hon. Dr Patrick ‘Paba’ Anthony, SLC,is a Roman Catholic priest, whose ordination ceremony in Saint Lucia in 1972 was the first to include the sound of African drums, steel pan, and guitar. He would later become the first priest to attempt celebrating the Mass in his native tongue, Saint Lucian Kwéyòl. A unique figure in that country’s history, Msgr Patrick ‘Paba’ Anthony emerged out of the ferment that followed the Catholic Church’s Vatican II, as it impacted the Caribbean Catholic Church.  

A passionate advocate of the then current concept of ‘New Caribbean Personhood’, he promoted Black Awareness and Caribbean Consciousness among groups of young people in Saint Lucian parishes through the use of Caribbean-style worship songs and liturgical vestments, and the celebration of indigenous religious art on church murals.  He encouraged involvement at the grassroots levels of the parishes, with a special concern for the young, the poor, the elderly and the homeless. 

In 1973, he founded the Folk Research Centre whose media programmes brought to the wider Saint Lucian public, for the first time, authentic information on their folk culture. This fostered positive attitudes towards Saint Lucia’s first language, Kwéyòl, and led to its acceptance into hitherto inaccessible or exclusive places like mainstream media, Parliament, and written publications, culminating in the birth of Saint Lucia’s largest contemporary cultural festival, Jounen Kwéyòl.  

A theologian, communications specialist, and cultural activist, Msgr Anthony’s commitment to church and culture led him to establish the Jubilee Trust Fund to assist young artists, cultural activists and researchers; the St. Lucy’s Home for the rehabilitation of street people; and the Conference on Theology in the Caribbean Today (CTCT), which he co-founded in 1994. 

Recipient of the Saint Lucia Cross (2000) and named a National Cultural Hero (2013), he was declared a Laureate in 2019, by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). 

Msgr Dr Patrick Anthony has made an enduring impression on modern Saint Lucia and shaped a generation that now forms a part of our Caribbean leadership.  

The illustrious Dame Janet Gwennett Bostwick, Counsel and Attorney-at-Law, is respected for championing the empowerment and improvement of women in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Region.

In that regard, she has achieved several firsts: the first woman to hold the post of Secretary General of The Bahamas Public Services Union; to prosecute in the Bahamian Courts; to serve as President of The Bahamas Bar Association and Chair of the Bar Council; to serve as a Member of Parliament and be appointed Attorney General in The Bahamas and the Region. She was also the first Bahamian female to be appointed that country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and to act in the post of Prime Minister.

She was instrumental, inter alia, in establishing a full-time domestic magistrate’s court; expanding the Juvenile Panel and extending the grounds for divorce to include desertion and cruelty; amending of the affiliation proceedings laws to remove limits to maintenance so that a parent contributes proportionately to their level of income; abolishing of the primogeniture law so all children inherit equally; and the filius nullius doctrine, which then allowed the recognition of children born out of wedlock as children of their father with a right to his name; removal of discrimination against women in inheritance laws; increasing maternity leave, old age non-contributory pension; and modernisation of sexual offences and domestic violence laws.  She played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Eugene Dupuch Law School.

In 2018, she was made a Companion of the Order of The Bahamas and later that year, a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.  She was the 2021 recipient of the CARICOM Triennial Award for Women.


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